In today’s society, with the economy the way it is many of us are getting free and sometimes unsolicited financial planning advice. What I mean by this is based off the combination of our spending and saving habits and the recession we have to learn how to handle our finances better. Even if the lesson comes in the form of our debit card being declined at the store, we are learning financial planning in a hard way. Sometimes the money lessons we have learned were negative and sometimes they were positive, either way we have learned something in 2010. In order to say you learned something, you always have to credit the negative and positive learning experiences right? I have been no exception to the negative and positive money lessons in 2010. This year some of my actions that I continually repeated taught me never to do them again.
First there are always those negative money lessons. We all have them, whether they are a negative account balance or over spending, we were taught something. The first thing I learned was if they do not need it, do not buy it. Throughout the year since my husband and I have spent well into the thousands on our daughter. The largest percent of what we spend solely on her has always been clothing and shoes. Prior to the 2010-2011 school year, along with my daughter I took two days to go through her clothing to see what still fit from 2009-2010’s school year. About 25% of what we put into the bag to donate had only been worn once or twice. About 5% of the clothing still had a tag on it. There was also a pair of sneakers that she had never even taken out of the box. From that very wasteful experience I learned that no child needs that much money spent on clothing they are just going to grow out of.
Another negative money lesson I had this year dealt with my car. In the beginning of the summer we began to have some trouble with it. We put off getting it fixed and not because we did not have the money, it was more because we procrastinated. We put it off so long that it is not going to cost us double what we would have originally paid. Why you ask? Since we did not fix the initial problem, it has caused other problems in the car. So, money lesson number two, if it is broke FIX IT!
The last negative money lesson I had in 2010 comes in the form of a job. I decided that since jobs were not hiring me based of my school schedule I would work online. I applied to work for a text answering service. You know one of those places you send a question to via mobile text and you get a reply. Well, it was a very big time consuming mistake. First, per the company I was not allowed to put them on my resume as a job. I was supposed to work at least 20 hours a week but they preferred I put in more time. Also, they wanted me to use the hours of 8:00 pm to 3:00 am as they considered that their peak hours. I was told by many people who worked for the company that they make upwards of $1,000 a month. I assumed that putting in 50 hours plus of answering the craziest of crazy questions, that I was making good money. When I first signed up the monthly cash out threshold was $100. Not too bad being I thought I was doing decent with about 50 hours a week put in. Well when I reached my $100 (in July, I was there since March) I went to click Pay Me Now when I was informed the new cash out amount was $150. Then what would happen when I got to $150? Well the lesson I learned was that sometimes you cannot believe the hype. I also learned investing that much time into some things does not yield the same amount back in money.
Now for the positive money lessons I learned. The first lesson I learned was out of sheer luck. I had gotten some new recipes to try out and for about a month straight we ate at home. We soon realized that we were saving $200 a month by eating out less. We have greatly changed our eating habits and now we have more money to eat organic and natural foods instead of skimping like some people have to do.
Something else positive that I learned is a share account at a credit union is better for me than a regular checking account. A share account includes both a checking and a savings account. I wanted a place where I could save money without all of the minimums and fees that come with banking elsewhere. So what I did was signed up for a share account that yields annual interest. My hard earned money is not working for me and I love it.
The last money lesson I learned in 2010 is possibly the most positive. I learned that the more money you invest into your direct sales business the more income you can make. I had been out of direct sales for a while because I did not make any money. This year I decided to try again and I invested more time and money into my business. I have noticed I am making my money back and then some. I have already doubled my initial investment.
So to conclude, this is what I learned in 2010 about money. The negative have led me into a positive direction. The positive have led me into monetary growth and financial stability. Would I change anything it I went back in time? No, I would not. No matter what happened in 2010, it has been a learning experience.